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An Online Guide to Revenge for Those Who Can't Forgive or Forget

Payback services have become a popular Web feature, serving up spells, vengeance kits and voodoo dolls--often with a humorous rather than a spiteful flavor.

January 31, 2002|ROBERT BURNS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Forgiveness may be divine, but payback is definitely more popular. And while revenge is best served cold, serving it digitally is fast catching up.

Some Web sites make it a little too easy. Payback.com (www.the payback.com) offers to send a box of melted chocolates for $24.99 or one "dead, smelly fish" for $19.99. It used to have dead flowers, but regular florists tend to deliver enough of those.

Revenge Unlimited (www .revengeunlimited.com) is the whoopee cushion version of vengeance, with products such as gum that turns your mouth blue and "bald man's comb." The library is a little spookier with titles such as "Be Your Own Undertaker." We'd recommend being someone else's undertaker first, just for the practice. And you can pick up ideas and new tricks in the Avengers' Den, a message board for those who still think law enforcement agencies don't know how to go online.

Then there's Pranks 4 All (www.pranks4all.com), which has yet more embarrassing things to send to people, such as a package labeled "Correcting Serious Character Flaws for Dummies."

Most of these payback services are innocent enough and are closer to practical jokes than to true vengeance. It's a bit like telling Machiavelli to act his age not his shoe size.

More serious, however, and somewhat pathological is the Avenger's Front Page (www .ekran.no/html/revenge), which appears to be aimed at people who have traded a life for a chip on the shoulder. Let it go, dudes, you're in the wrong century to go all Medea on us.

Once you're through the real-world sites, there's a slew of pages dedicated to paranormal payback, because, you know, the spirit world really cares that the clerk in the shoe department was condescending to you.

Put a Spell on You has the "ultimate" revenge kit at www.spell maker.com/revenge.htm for a whopping $79.95. There are several cheaper alternatives, in case you don't feel $80 worth of been wronged. And there's a link to the bargain basement for sale items. When dealing with the dark side, it's always nice to save a few bucks.

As with fast food and clothing store chains, there's a lot of competition out there. Spellkit.com (www .spellkit.com/hexspellkit) has hexes to buy, as does Custom Voodoo (customvoodoo.com/voodcurandhe .html). If you're planning on a curse marathon, Custom Voodoo even has savings on bulk orders, as in graveyard dirt.

But since your money may be better spent on anger management therapy, there's a free archive of spells at Lucky Mojo (www.lucky mojo.com/spells.html). Be warned. The supply lists are downright depressing.

The easiest and most innocuous curse we found was at PinStruck (www.pinstruck.com), which digitally delivers a nice little personalized voodoo doll. And it generates less bad karma than sending an e-card to someone you barely know for a holiday no one cares about.

Revenge is a lot like candy. Too much and you start to feel sick.

If you'd rather take the high road, there's the Forgiveness Web (www.forgivenessweb.com), the Campaign for Forgiveness Research (www.forgivenessweb.com) and the International Forgiveness Institute at www.forgiveness -institute.org.

Or you could just live well.

And, one last thing: if you didn't like this Click, just get mad. Please.

*

Robert Burns is graphics editor at The Times' Business section. He can be reached at robert.burns@latimes .com.

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